Writers, Fifty Shades, and a Would-Be Tyrant

I’ve just finished another chapter.  I’m feeling really good about my work so far, so I’ve decided to take a break and talk about the relationship between authors and would-be tyrants.

An author needs readers.  That’s a simple truth, easy to conceptualize.  Without readers, a book has no value.  It may as well be fuel for a fire.  Until a writer’s work is read, it essentially doesn’t exist.

As a writer that is early in his career, I think about this problem all the time.  What will happen when I finish my book, and I’m unable to get people to read it?  Will it all be for nothing?  Do I have the personal strength to move on to the next book?

If you want to hurt a writer, refuse to read their work.  Don’t talk about them.  Ignore their stories, and the writer will wither like a plant denied water and light.  Writer’s need readers to spread the word, so that others will become interested and check out their work.

Not all word of mouth has to be about the quality of the work.  It can be about the content.  When people first started talking about Fifty Shades of Grey, they weren’t talking about the quality of the writing.  They were talking about the content of the book.  It was naughty.  The taboo of the material piqued people’s interest, and the books sold.

If you like Fifty Shades, great.  I’m not going to tell you that you’re wrong.  But I’ve looked at some of the writing, and in my opinion, it’s hideous.  And, honestly, it’s not all that raunchy.

Spectacle is what made Fifty Shades taken off.  Without the spectacle, there would have been no curiosity.  Without the curiosity, there would have been no audience.  Without the audience, the book would have faded into obscurity just like so many other stories published independently.

A politician shares this characteristic with writers.  Without an audience, they can scream and shout all the vitriol they can think of, and it won’t make a difference.  A politician needs to be heard in order to be a politician.

If you want to end a politician’s career, don’t show up for his rallies.  Don’t protest him.  Don’t write blog posts about him.  Don’t vote for him.  Ignore him, and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

Remember… the opposite of love isn’t hate.  It’s apathy.  Love and hate are both extremes of passion.  Love and hate inspire people to do things they may not normally do.  From an outsider’s perspective, without context, the actions of love and the actions of hate can look the same.  So don’t give a would-be tyrant your love, or your hate.  Give him nothing.

We currently have someone running for President that is inspiring hate.  People are showing up for his rallies, some to support, some to protest.  And this candidate is inciting violence, with his words and with his attitude.

He’s generating stories.  He’s in the news.  Every outrageous thing he says is picked up and talked about.  With that kind of interest, it doesn’t matter what he does.  In his own words, he could kill someone on the street, and it wouldn’t change the course of his campaign.

You may notice that I haven’t mentioned his name.  I don’t need to, and I’m not going to.  You already know who I’m talking about.  And you probably already know how dangerous his campaign is for our country.

If you want to end his campaign, and end the violence at his rallies, stop talking about him.  Stop adding fuel to his fire.  As long as the spotlight is on him, he’s in control of the show.  The stories he’s generating are too rich for the media networks to pass up.  So he gets to set the tone, and dictate the message, and we already know that his message is about divisiveness, intolerance, and hate.

You already know what he’s going to say, so quit clicking on the stories that feature him.  When stories about him stop generating views, there will no longer be financial incentive to keep making more stories about him.  His star will fade.  And he will go back to obscurity.

Focus on other candidates.  If you need a little hate and divisiveness, go read about Ted Cruz.  He’s a pretty terrible candidate, too, but he’s not actively trying to get people to beat each other up at his events.

Honestly, it would be better to focus on the positive.  Find the qualities about your favorite candidate that you like, and talk to other people about that.

Just quit giving the would-be tyrant air time.